Still Can’t Sleep?
Sometimes you try your hardest to address our sleep issues on your own. You go to bed on time every night, eliminate caffeine, try hypnosis, and even get a prescription – but sleep isn’t in your repertoire.
If this happens, you need the help of professionals who can help you get to the root of the problem and diagnose your sleep disorder so that you can find a solution that will work for you.
The asleep study may or may not be covered in part (or fully) by your insurance provider – because some consider it elective participation, even if your lack of sleep is causing medical issues. Check with your insurance company to see what kind of coverage they offer for sleep disorder studies.
Most sleep studies are performed at a sleep study center, but some companies will come to your home and set up monitors in-house so that you stay in a sleep setting that’s normal for you. You’ll be hooked up to some wires so they can monitor your sleep and you’ll relax and hopefully fall asleep so they can capture the data they need.
They’ll be conducting a PSG (Polysomnogram) where they record the physiological data while you sleep. This includes an EEG (electroencephalogram), EOG (electrooculography), EMG (electromyography), EKG (electrocardiogram), as well as your respiratory patterns, limb movements, and other variables.
When you go, you’ll be asked to bring two-piece pajamas so they can easily hook up the electrodes. You won’t be able to wear any hair products such as conditioner, hairspray, or gel.
They’ll probably ask you to not drink caffeine afternoon and bring your usual medications with you. Most sleep study centers allow you t bring entertainment materials like books or magazines as well as your favorite pillow.
If you’re having the sleep study done on a weeknight and have to go straight to work the next day, make sure you ask whether or not the center has showers for you to get ready. Some don’t, but you’ll be out early enough to have time to go home and get ready for your workday.
After your night’s sleep, the sleep study will have a professional analyze the data and forward your results to your doctor. They’ll take note of your brain waves, heart rhythms, eye and leg movement, and oxygen levels.
The doctors will be looking at what makes you sleepy, how long it takes you to fall into a deep sleep, and what causes you to awaken during the night. Armed with this information, you and your physician can make a decision about the course of treatment that best suits your situation.
How to Create the Perfect Room for Sleep
Where you sleep is an important factor with a lot of power that contributes to how well you sleep. By improving your sleep environment, you can change what’s keeping you awake.
Tossing and turning can be directly related to the mattress you sleep on. One that’s too firm can cause you to constantly shift, trying to find a comfortable spot. A mattress that’s too firm can be unyielding and cause body aches.
Having a mattress that’s too soft can cause backaches. You want a mattress that’s top-quality – one that’s just right. You can never go wrong paying for the best mattress you can buy. But you need a sturdy, supportive box spring, too. A weak or older box spring can cause your mattress to wear in some places.
You’ll need the right kind of pillow for your bed in order to achieve optimal sleep. A lumpy pillow can lead to a neckache, headache or pain in your shoulders. You may wake throughout the night having to constantly fluff the wrong kind of pillow.
An unyielding pillow can be just as bad as a lumpy one. You can find ergonomic pillows that cushion your head and help you get a good night’s sleep. Base your pillow selection on the preferences you have for fillers and the sleep position you prefer.
Think “soothing” when it comes to bedroom accessories. Wall paint should be soothing and calming and promote sleep. Don’t choose vibrant paint colors for your walls because vibrant paints tend to excite the mind subconsciously.
If there’s something about the room that bothers you when you’re awake, like a noisy ceiling fan, trade it out for a quieter one. The lighting in your bedroom is important. Your bedroom needs to be dark. This helps your body get into a cycle of associating a dark room with time to go to sleep.
Keep your bedroom at an adequate temperature, leaning on the colder side. A too cold or too hot environment is not conducive to undisturbed sleep and it can make falling asleep harder.
Get rid of any bedroom clutter. Clutter bothers your subconscious and weighs on you when you’re trying to go to sleep. Make organization and storage a top priority for your bedroom so that it’s a peaceful haven for you to slumber in.
Some bedrooms become catch-all rooms where all sorts of items are stashed. Take out anything that’s not related to sleep. If you have exercise equipment in your bedroom, take it out.
Remove the television, the computer and anything dealing with work or finances from your bedroom. Keep the room quiet, too. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, use a sound machine or earplugs.
If you live alone and have trouble sleeping because of security fears, invest in an alarm system. Finally, make sure your bedroom has a fresh clean scent that’s both soothing and relaxing. You can achieve this by using oils or scented room accessories.
Sleep Disorder – A Growing Concern in the United States
In the United States alone, it is estimated that approximately 60 – 80 million people have some form of sleep disorder. This number continues to rise. Several of the reasons for the increasing numbers are the aging of the American population, the change in our lifestyle and the obesity epidemic. Of course, there are other factors that can lead to a sleep disorder, such as, stress, shift work, illness or genetics.
There are more than 100 different types of sleep disorders. They range in severity from minor to life-threatening. People of any age, from infants to the aged, can be affected by a sleep disorder at any time of their lives.
As sleep disorders increase in the United States, so do the dangers that are associated with them.
Tiredness can lead to slower mental alertness and slower reaction time. This can be a very dangerous combination. Between 20 – 25% of all serious vehicular accidents involve a tired driver. Many of these drivers suffer from some form of sleep disorder and may not even be aware of it. A large number of accidents that occur at home or at work are also due to people with some type of sleeping problem. Sleep disorder, combined with the cost of the accidents and illnesses it causes, results in the American people and the government spending billions of dollars.
Lack of sleep is directly related to many physical ailments and conditions. People that do not get sufficient sleep generally suffer more from headaches, sore joints, and stomach problems. Often a sleep disorder is an underlying cause of heart problems, lung conditions, and diabetes. Sleep disorders can also affect the mental well being of people stricken with them. Mood changes, anxiety, eating disorders, and depression can result.
Many people still do not think of a sleeping problem as a medical problem. Because of this, many never tell their physician that they are having a problem with sleep. Even if they see their doctor on a regular basis for an illness or condition, they never mention their difficulty sleeping.
As the American public and medical community become more educated and aware of the symptoms, effects, and severity of various sleep disorders, more and more cases are being diagnosed. Sufferers are being treated with medication, oxygen, CPAP machines, and even surgery. There are better screening methods and diagnostic tests that find sleep disorder problems earlier. Overnight sleep centers no longer resemble a hospital room. They are now designed to look more like a hotel room, to make the patient feel more comfortable. In some cases, due to computerization and miniaturization, the equipment can be so small that some testing can even be done at home.
Sleep is not an option or a luxury. It is a basic element of living and of good health. If you think you, your partner or your child may be suffering from a sleep disorder see your physician. The sleep disorder is a medical problem that can be helped.
Fatal Familial Insomnia
This is probably by far one of the rarest forms of sleeping disorders around. This is an inherited disorder that has only been found in 28 families in the world that have the dominant gene for it. The offspring of a parent(s) of developing the disorder is about 50% and there is no cure for this. The age of onset is around the ages between 30 and 60 and the disorder’s time frame runs between 7 to 18 months. This disease has 4 stages that it goes through and 1st stage of the disease starts off with the sufferer dealing with increased insomnia leading to severe panic attacks, and various kinds of phobias, this stage lasts about 4 months, 2nd stage sufferer deals with hallucinations and panic attacks become more obvious and lasts about 5 months, 3rd stage Complete and total inability to sleep. And follows with drastic weight loss and lasts about 3 months, 4th stage Dementia sets in and progressively becoming irresponsive and mute over a course of 6 months and this is the final progression of the disease.
This sounds a lot like Alzheimer’s because if you notice the time frame it’s a lot less short than the actual time span of someone who deals with Alzheimer’s because the sufferer is dealing with it for several years instead of a year where the disease progressively degenerates the mental capacity to such a degree that the sufferer has a hard time with memory.
As far as treatment is concerned sleeping pills don’t have any effect for people suffering from Fatal Familial Insomnia and not even non-medicinal therapy doesn’t work either. Medical science has no idea why it’s a fatal disease and how they can create effective treatment options to combat this problem. And more effective genetic testing for diseases that are inherited to find out what can be done medicinally and therapeutically to deal with this sleeping disorder.
It’s a matter of how much attention the medical world takes note of this and pushes the funding to finding a cure and effective genetic testing of families and tracking diseases through the generations to be able to have some kind of record of the disease passing down through generations or skipping generations which is what some diseases have done in some families for those who have a disposition for certain things.
This doesn’t get nearly as much attention as all the other sleeping disorders because of it being rare, and only turning up in so many people and births making it not rare enough for it to get the recognition as regular insomnia and to qualify for the treatments. That is currently out there to help those 60 million people who are dealing with some kind of sleeping disorder(s).
With the way medical science is going, it will be a matter of time before medical science catches up and helps the many people who are looking for a cure of being deprived of a restful night’s sleep. The moment a cure is found is one more person who will be helped to have a good night’s rest.